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HomeIndiaRam Guha's tweet about 'culturally backward' Gujarat unites BJP and Congress

Ram Guha’s tweet about ‘culturally backward’ Gujarat unites BJP and Congress

Historian Ramchandra Guha put out a tweet Thursday, quoting British writer Philip Spratt from 1939, that compared state of economy and culture between Bengal and Gujarat.

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New Delhi: A tweet on Gujarat by historian Ramchandra Guha, quoting a British writer, triggered a social media furore Thursday, and unwittingly ended up uniting political rivals BJP and Congress.

Guha, quoting British writer Phillip Spratt from 1939, wrote: “Gujarat, though economically advanced, is culturally a backward province… . Bengal in contrast is economically backward but culturally advanced”.
Philip Spratt, writing in 1939

And while many from the BJP, including Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, rushed to the state’s defence, the Congress too weighed in, with senior leader Ahmed Patel calling it an “ill informed statement”.

“Earlier it was the British who tried to divide and rule. Now it is a group of elites who want to divide Indians.

Indians won’t fall for such tricks,” Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani tweeted.

Rupani added that both Gujarat and Bengal are great and India is “united”.

Soon after, Sitharaman too put out a tweet against the quote.

“In 1939, when Philip Spratt, from Britain, belonging to the Communist International wrote, (who ⁦⁦@Ram_Guha⁩ quotes) this was what was happening in Gujarat: Jamnagar…Maharaja Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji Jadeja…saved 1000 Polish children #Culture,” she wrote, citing a news report from 2018.

The report, by Ahmedabad Mirror talked about an event organised by Poland in honour of Maharaja Jam Saheb Digvijaysinhji Jadeja, the former king of Jamnagar.

Guha responded to Sitharaman’s critique — taking a jibe at the state of the economy.

“I thought it was only the Gujarat CM, but now it seems even the FM is obsessing about a humdrum historian’s tweets. The economy is surely in safe hands,” he wrote.

Ahmed Patel rebuts Guha

Senior Congress leader Patel, meanwhile, expressed his displeasure over the tweet Thursday evening.

“This is an ill informed statement,” Patel said, quote-tweeting Guha’s tweet.

“From Kutch to Vapi & from Shyamlaji to Dwarka,Gujarat’s culture is built on striking diversity but united through indomitable entrepreneurial spirit

Every culture has it’s unique greatness,backwardness is our failure to understand this fact,” he added.

Patel is Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat and also served as the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi from 2001 to 2017.


Also read: Kapil Mishra to Payal Rohatgi, India’s new ‘intellectuals’ are dethroning one Guha at a time


Guha’s disclaimer

Guha responded to the widespread criticism he received for his comparison of Bengal and Gujarat by adding a disclaimer later, saying that “he may or may not endorse” what he is quoting.

“Statutory warning; when I post quotes by others found in the course of my research, I do so because I find them arresting in some way. I may (or may not) endorse, in part or in whole, what I am quoting. Reserve your praise or your anger for the ghost of the person being quoted,” he wrote.

Subsequently, he also took a jibe at Rupani for taking note of his tweet.

Guha also said he has been “trying without success for thirty years to make the writer Philip Spratt better known,” and that he thanks the ‘Troll Army’ for accomplishing that.


Also read: Activists dump ‘property nationalisation’ after Ram Guha says that wasn’t what he endorsed


 

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18 COMMENTS

  1. This man deserves nothing but contempt. He is the darling of the anti Modi media and so every few days some channel, some publication seeks his silly sound bytes and he too finds it convenient otherwise which literary crowd is going to give him such space to deliberately stoke a controversy ? Fact is that Guha is neither eminent nor historian, nor a cricketer . He is at best an antinational. He tries to divide the people of this country through such illogical and foolish statements. I have lived in both Bengal and Gujarat and can say with conviction that in both these states people are generally very nice, hospitable and courteous. Both are very fond and proud of their culture, their roots their food their habits etc. As na Indian Guha should celebrate this diversity. Instead he is being so cheap.

  2. The regional chauvinism and discrimination on grounds of one’s place of origin has been a chronic systemic problem in India, which has received no attention at all, and doesn’t look like weakening its roots anytime soon. The problem is so serious that it filters up to the centres of power and academia, unabated and unnoticed, which is evident time and again in the nature of policies by the govt and in similar display of the subconscious of the elite acamedicians. The Print while reporting on the issue, itself goes on to call it a point of unition of differing political parties in its caption, as if distancing itself from the issue; doesn’t the issue need all the Indians to be united against stereotyping and setting up of prejudice? Such incidents make me hold deep disregard for the Liberal elite, who jumps at the opportunity to demonise, who does not meet their moral standards, and fails to recognise their own demons of biases and prejudices. A fall from artificial grace!

  3. 1 of the problem that we the India citizens need to fix is taking care of these kind of idiots. While Modi government takes care of international issues like putting pakis and chinkes in place, we need to fix issues within country.
    We need to start elliminating trators like Guha, Mamata regarded Banerjee, or for that matter ANYONE who works against country. These cockroaches needs to be killed. This will fix 2 issues. 1. traitors will get eliminated and 2. India’s population will drop. There may be 2-5% traitors in India.

  4. How can he even call himself a historian when he is trying to create a communal divide between states.Such people are more dangerous than the external forces. This is nothing but cheap publicity stunt to be in the limelight.He should be forced to seek apology to the country and to the people of Gujarat.We bengalis love Gujarat and the culture of the state and strongly condem the remarks made by this so called historian.

  5. What Cultural wealth of Bengal has done to the state and its people is there for everyone to see. The rich mafia has moved out of Bengal mostly to Delhi, leaving the state to the ruffinus of Congress, CPM , TMC. With a handful of so called Cultured English speakers who cannot complete one sentence without praising the leader.
    The Bengalis are running away from the their own culture and want the world to believe what is written from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. They thrive in the cosmopolitan culture of the metros but an outsider cannot flourish in the state where the likes of GUHA cannot even survive.

  6. Mr Guha is trying to divide the nation with his cheap publicity stunts.India is one and United.

  7. Mr Guha is trying to divide people based on language and region. He is doing all these to gain cheap publicity and to remain in the limelight.He is a worthless fellow with a communal mindset. We bengalis love Gujarat and the culture of the region.we don’t endorse the views of this so called historian. He should apologize for what he said. Strict actions should be taken if he doesn’t apologize.

  8. Arrogant elites with a dark agenda, like Mr. Guha eventually trip up and expose themselves for what they are – termites that have done damage to India’s culture. It is time to put Mr Guha where he belongs – in the dustbin.

  9. I lived in Bombay 30 years back and had a extensive interaction with Gujarati’s. I find them personally very nice people and infact my first boss was a Gujarati lady. But my only regret they are better off without Modi – Shah team. I always love Guha and his opinions but this is one rare instance I beg to differ with him.

  10. ‘May or may not endorse what I tweet’
    = Guha admits that he is a “Bull shitter”

    What a let down of Sickular, liberal commies for whom he is the darling ‘ Historian ‘ intellectual !

  11. If Ramchandra Guha is eminent historian in India, then Historical knowledge in India is in safe hand.

  12. Librandus are fast losing their mental balance. As they are incapable of suggesting positive improvements, they come out with bazare statements that only insane persons can make. Their insane thoughts have polluted the media space. They don’t about how to make India self reliant. They don’t talk about how to make Indians be proud of India. They don’t talk about how India can lead the word. Their so many positive things they could have done but they haven’t done. They do what they shouldn’t they. Why shouldn’t these insane people be dropped in a far isolated island?

  13. This is simply not okay. Just because you don’t like the PM, you don’t go after his home state. And great to see him actually acknowledging economic development in Gujarat. The last i checked people can’t eat their culture. And his reaction to the backlash is worse. Twitter brings out the real colors of these so-called “intellectuals”.

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